Can I change my will so that my wife and children do not get my assets?
What province is this?
How long have you been married for?
Are you separated?
If so is there a Separation Agreement?
And if there is what does it say about your estate?
No separation, no divorce. My wife has significant assets of her own andf I would like to will my assets elsewhere. Is this possible?
How old are your children and are they dependent on your financially?
They are 6 and 7 and they are currently dependent on me.
If you die while your children are dependent on you then they can make a claim to the estate as dependents.If you do not die until they are independent adults then they would not have a claim to your estate.
In Ontario all family assets are share when a marriage ends.
The law is the same whether it ends by choice or by death.
So if you die first then your wife will have the choice to take under the Will or under the Family Law Act.
Family assets are assets that are acquired during the marriage not including gifts and inheritances.
They also include the increase in value of assets brought into the marriage.
So at the end of the marriage you both need to be left with an equal values of the family assets.
So if you leave all your assets to someone else then your wife could make a claim to the estate if she is left with less family assets than your estate has.
Does that make sense?
In other words, you cannot do at death what you cannot do if you separate now.
Yes, I think so. But what if I want to leave 20% of my assets to a charity or to another relative. If I die first, am I unable to do that?
Only if she ends up with half the family assets.So it depends what is in her name and what is in your name.
It is possible, depending on the numbers.
Okay, so that makes sense to me. If half of my estate is willed to my surviving wife and children, I can will the other half elsewhere?
It's not exactly that.
Let me use an example.
Let's say the house is in both your names and is worth $500,000.
And lets say over the course of the marriage she saves $100,000 in RRSPs.
Let's say you have $2000,000 in RRSPs.
So when you did the house will go to her as both of your names are XX XX.
She will then have $600,000 and your estate $200,000.
In that case you can leave the full amount to someone else.
But let's say the house is in your name and is worth $500,000. And let's say the RRSPs are the same as I just described.
So your estate would start out with $700,000 and she would start out with $100,000.
In that case you would have to leave her $300,000 so that she and the estate each has $400,000.
Do you see what I mean now?
Yes, I think so. If the only asset in both names is the house, everything else that I have in investments (in my name) can go to someone else. Correct?
If the house is worth more than those assets then yes.
Good. I understand. Lastly, what about life insurance? Am I totally free to name a beneficiary of my choice?
Yes you are.
Thank you very much. You have been most helpful.
Glad to hear it.
You are very welcome.
Have a great weekend!
I was about to say the same thing!
Take good care.
You too. God night.
Please be sure to rate me before you go!
Will do so - excellent. Thanks.